Drylands cover more than 40% of the earth’s land surface and are home to more than a third of the global population, many of whom are the world’s poorest people. Found on every continent, drylands are regions where water is scarce and rainfall is highly variable. Widely perceived as wastelands, the truth is that drylands are immensely important, providing water, food, animal fodder, fuel wood, shelter and medicines to millions.
This month’s Focus exposes the real value of drylands and IUCN’s efforts to save them. With the biennial meeting of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) taking place 10 to 21 October in the Republic of Korea, IUCN will be promoting solutions that simultaneously conserve the extraordinary biodiversity found in drylands and improve the lives of the people living in them.